1996 Ford Explorer XLT 4.0L from North America


Gas guzzler with a few problems


Replaced missing sway bar link at 55,000 miles. (factory recall for this)

Replaced defective Air Idle Control Valve.

Replaced all shocks at 70,000.

Replaced clutch when slave cylinder failed at 75,000 miles.

Replaced battery at 55,000 miles.

Replaced tires (Firestone recall) at 50,000 miles.

Replaced torsion bar control cams at 70,000 miles.

Replaced parking brake shoes and rear service brake hardware at 60,000 miles.

General Comments:

The stock V6 is enough to send it down the road, but add a few passengers or try towing a trailer and you start wish you had the V8. I adding a cat-back and aftermarket air intake before seeing any "performance" out of the weak V6. Gas mileage from the V6 is marginal.

Stock shocks on the vehicle are also marginal. I added a set of Rancho 5000's and it really helped- if you ride in the pre-96' Explorers (solid front axle) you can definitely feel the difference the independent suspension makes.

Interior is small, but comfortable and all controls are well placed. Cloth bucket seats wore well and were comfortable.

Vehicle performs well in winter conditions- great weight distribution for driving in snow- rotary control on dash easily actives the 4WD.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 10th September, 2003

1996 Ford Explorer Eddie Bauer 4.0L from North America


I think it is a great vehicle for a small family


Nothing has gone wrong since I purchased this car 7 years ago. The mileage is pretty low because I'm in the military and spend a lot of time away from home. I've had absolutely no breakdowns or malfunctions.

I would just like to highlight some fixes/repairs done by my dealer. The truck had some over-spray from the factory. The dealer repainted it at no cost and gave me a new Rodeo to drive for a few days. I've also had the left front door window motor replaced due to an accident in a tornado in TN. That was an insurance claim, but the dealer service was great, obviously (insurance $$).

I love my truck and plan on keeping it until the wheels fall off or it breaks down.

General Comments:

The truck is comfortable, reliable, and efficient for a truck that size (17-22 MPG). I only dislike the column shifter in all vehicle.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 19th April, 2003

1996 Ford Explorer XLT 4.0L V6 from North America


Rough, expensive, yet likable and practical for the active, outdoor family


O2 sensor has failed twice.

EGR sensor failed twice.

Power door lock switch failed on both doors.

Air vents do not hold their position - they always point down.

Check engine light would frequently light up. True story - dealer suggested "black tape" to fix the problem.

Transmission occasionally "slips" and moans - engine revs, but truck will not go.

General Comments:

Overall, we are generally happy with this vehicle. We have three children and it is tough to find another vehicle as versatile as the Explorer.

While the ride is rough, most of our trips are short and the seats are fairly comfortable.

The gas mileage is horrible. I can never get much better than 14mpg in the city, and usually it is 13mpg. On the road I can squeeze 19mpg.

I quit paying to have the "check engine" light diagnosed after about the fourth time. The dealer would put it on the scope, tell me nothing was wrong, and charge me $80.

My biggest complaint is the transmission - it really acts up. According the the dealer, when this happens I am supposed to switch in and out of 4wd, then drive in reverse for 100 yards. They originally diagnosed the problem as a "poorly tuned vehicle that was causing the sensor that controls shifting to act up". After a complete tune-up, it still acted up.

My overall dealer experience was terrible, and I quit visiting them. I felt like I was paying to train their technicians.

Overall, mechanically sound, but interior fit and finish could be better for the world's most popular family "wagon".

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 20th March, 2003

11th Mar 2009, 21:49

We got our Explorer at around 30,000 miles and considering the miles - the vehicle has performed well. We have had our share of repairs and interesting problems, however we know it's quirks and work around them.

The water pump went out at 70 k miles, the front wheel sensors at 80k miles, the driver's door handle at 100k, but that was the worst of it - it owes us nothing. It now has over 170k miles and still going.

I have had a lot of regular PM done along the way and it is paying off now. By the way, this vehicle came with Goodyear tires - what garbage! I had never had so many flats on one vehicle. I went to an 8 ply truck tire and not a problem since, though it really rides like a truck now, which it is, underneath.

I expect to take this vehicle to 250k plus miles.